20 November 1995

The Lawyer

  • 'Outdated' child crime laws under spotlight

    21-Nov-1995

    TRYING children who commit capital crimes in an adult court and by a jury is "outdated and wrong", according to author and journalist Gitta Sereny.Sereny, whose interest in child crime was sparked by the case of 10-year-old child killer Mary Bell, is speaking at the British Juvenile & Family Court Society's 'Children who Kill' conference next week."My main interest is to contribute however I can towards achieving a change in the British judicial ...

  • A meeting of minds

    21-Nov-1995

    The use of forensic evidence in criminal trials and medical specialists in personal injury cases are probably the best known examples of legal use of expert testimony. However, environmental legislation defines the areas of regulatory responsibility more and more, with the result that such legislation also defines areas of liability and answerability in law. The legal provisions may also include inquiry processes to examine current practice or new proposals.The provisions ...

  • Accounts system

    21-Nov-1995

    Birmingham solicitors Pearson Rowe has introduced a new accounts system. According to Mary Parry, office manager at the firm, the 11-workstation system has greatly improved its accounts function. With the help of supplier Professional Computer Solutions, Pearsons opted for the Cognito system which has so far been installed at over 90 firms of solicitors.

  • Addleshaws department puts labour law under one roof

    21-Nov-1995

    MANCHESTER firm Addleshaw Sons & Latham has announced the creation of a specialist human resources department which combines all aspects of employment law under one roof.Partner Malcolm Pike heads the new department which combines all employment, pensions and employee benefits matters.He said: "Employment law, which originally grew out of litigation, has become such a complex and important subject of its own that it needs to be catered for in a more organised ...

  • AIM to the rescue in computer 'crisis'

    21-Nov-1995

    Helen Sage reportsAIM Professional has identified a need among its clients for crisis consultancy in the event of computer theft and damage.The company is offering eight hours of free "crisis consultancy" to all existing and potential customers.This year 10 AIM users have lost vital computer equipment through burglary, flooding and electrical storm damage.Last month Velvet Palms, which helps law firms establish an Internet ...

  • An artificial divide that's had its day

    21-Nov-1995

    In the first 18 months since solicitor advocates began to appear in the Higher Courts there has been a slow but steady stream of litigation solicitors who have obtained the Higher Courts qualification.Currently there is no sign that the stream is increasing, but the truth is different. The City giants are not asleep; they are preparing for a future in which they will offer a fully integrated litigation service for the first time.City law firms are untapped ...

  • Apil moots own practice policies

    21-Nov-1995

    INDEPENDENT guidelines for personal injury lawyers on sensitive issues like advertising may be drawn up by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.Apil president Michael Napier has sparked off a debate in the group over whether it should issue practice guidelines which may not be in line with the Law Society's policies.In his presidential address at the Apil autumn conference in Hinckley, Napier said there were inherent dangers in taking a regulatory ...

  • Armed Forces Act

    21-Nov-1995

    To be reviewed next year after claims of human rights violations, the Act is likely to take a new line on the courts martial system. The review will be conducted by a Commons Select Committee and, although courts martial are unlikely to be made defunct, it is accepted reform is needed. The procedure under which a single senior officer convenes a courts martial, selects the president and members of the court and decides on the charges is expected to be a key point.

  • Ashby case due for QBD

    21-Nov-1995

    The libel claim by north-west Leicestershire MP David Ashby against The Sunday Times is scheduled to reach the Queen's Bench Division this week. Ashby is suing over an article which refers to "MPs second holiday with male friend" and alleges he shared a hotel bed with another man.

  • Assistance from recovery service

    21-Nov-1995

    During the 1980s, traditional theft targets such as banks, building societies, post offices and security vehicles employed better protection measures.Consequently the theft of art, antiques and valuables, which are less well protected, became an attractive alternative for criminals and the large number of handlers and fences dealing in stolen property compounded the problem. Meanwhile, the art market enjoyed a period of phenomenal growth and worldwide publicity surrounded ...

  • Balancing justice with political nouse

    21-Nov-1995

    The Bar's proposed system for handling complaints as drawn up by the Complaints System Working Group is by no means perfect. The Legal Services Ombudsman Michael Barnes has described it in a letter on this page as "modest and overdue". It does not deal with advocates' immunity. Nor does it deal with the subject of complaints between solicitors and barristers.Nonetheless it is a step in the right direction and its mentors, Peter Goldsmith QC and Robert ...

  • Bar move worries consumer groups

    21-Nov-1995

    CONSUMER bodies have reacted with disappointment to an amendment to the Bar's proposed new complaints scheme.They say it will rule out certain legitimate complaints over shoddy service.The amendment, to be voted on in the Bar Council's open meeting on the proposals this week, was called for by the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) and is thought to be supported by the Family Law Bar Association.It narrows the range of complaints eligible for ...

  • Brick Court manager leaves

    21-Nov-1995

    John Malpas reportsANTONY Shaw QC's set at 4 Brick Court, Temple, has parted company with its chambers manager.Anne Bates is understood to have left the set around a month ago and is to be replaced by a new administrator.A spokesman at the chambers, which specialises in civil, crime and family law, refused to comment on the reasons for Bates' departure."It is an internal matter," he said.

  • Brief

    21-Nov-1995

    IBA representatives and Bar leaders from 14 African countries met with South African president Nelson Mandela on the eve of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in New Zealand.Mandela, who cancelled plans to deliver the IBA Section on Business Law's 25th anniversary lecture to attend the conference, met with representatives including IBA president Ross Harper at his home in Pretoria.Mandela, who had been scheduled to speak on the rule of law, ...

  • Broadcasting Bill

    21-Nov-1995

    The Broadcasting Bill, expected to be published at the end of the month, is likely to endorse the proposals of former Heritage Secretary Stephen Dorrell. Dorrell believed newspaper companies with less than 20 per cent of national circulation should be able to own television companies, subject to a limit of 15 per cent of the total television audience. It is believed Dorrell's successor Virginia Bottomley agrees with the plan, which would exclude the two biggest press groups - News ...

  • Brobeck Hale and Dorr announces closure of Prague operation

    21-Nov-1995

    BROBECK Hale and Dorr International, the offspring practice of two US firms, will close its Prague office at the end of the year and relocate its resident partner to London.The office, which opened four years ago, is an international joint venture between California's Brobeck Phleger & Harrison and Massachusetts firm Hale and Dorr. Based in New York, the international arm also operates a London practice.Prague resident partner David Ayres, who moved to the ...

  • Broker serves Lloyd's writ

    21-Nov-1995

    LONDON firm Memery Crystal is acting for John Donner, the retired Lloyd's broker and underwriter, in a major legal action against the Society of Lloyd's and nine senior individuals in the market.A writ has been served claiming breach of fiduciary duty. The action is based on a series of detailed allegations by Donner of negligence, malpractice and fraud against Names throughout ...

  • Can you fake it?

    21-Nov-1995

    Read any newspaper and you would be forgiven for assuming that the UK was drowning in a sea of fake notes and dud coins. A recent article in The Times claimed that a national chain of pubs was refusing to accept £50 notes for fear of their being counterfeit.Commentators have named the guilty parties as new technology such as colour photocopying which offers easy access to to the world of counterfeiting.Organised and large-scale counterfeiting, the type ...

  • Caution over complaints

    21-Nov-1995

    I do hope members of the Bar will think carefully before following the advice of Ronald Thwaites QC (The Lawyer 7 November 1995) that they should vote against the Bar Council's complaints system at the extraordinary general meeting on 21 November.As I have pointed out in my last three annual reports, the Bar's present complaints system is primarily a disciplinary system which is incapable of offering lay complainants any form of meaningful redress except the ...

  • City firms clinch top privatisation

    21-Nov-1995

    ASHURST Morris Crisp led a number of top City firms in the Government's £1.8 billion sale of the three rolling stock leasing companies (ROSCOs), the largest-ever privatisation by direct sale in the UK.Lawyers gave advice on issues from finance and tax to intellectual property and IT in the run-up to the contract signing.Ashursts' banking and finance department handled £1 billion of debt financing for the acquisition of two of the ROSCO leasing ...

  • Clyde & Co expands in Asia

    21-Nov-1995

    CLYDE & Co is beefing up its Asian presence in the run-up to the 1997 Hong Kong hand-over by sending key commercial litigation partners out to the region.Martin Heath, who returns for his second stint in the Far East, starts in the 18-lawyer Hong Kong office next month. He will be joined by aviation specialist Colin Franke, who replaces Mike Rotherick. Both Heath and Franke have already left the London practice.Heath, described by Tony Rooth - his successor as ...

  • Computer strike threat looms for LCD

    21-Nov-1995

    A courts service strike over government privatisation plans has moved a step nearer after a union ballot registered a vote for action.If other ballots produce the same result, unions will call a strike over staff fears concerning the £60 million project finance initiative (PFI) "outsourcing" of computer and administration systems in County and Crown Courts.Last week's ballot of Civil and Public Servants Association (CPSA) members in the LCD information ...

  • Concerns remain on divorce

    21-Nov-1995

    FAMILY lawyers have applauded Lord Mackay for his "political courage" in pushing divorce law reform and domestic violence issues to the fore of the Queen's Speech.But although the Lord Chancellor's plans to remove fault from the divorce process and encourage mediation have now received official approval, some areas of the new Family Law Bill - which also reintroduces controversial plans for domestic violence protection - still rankle lawyers in the field.

  • Courts crack down

    21-Nov-1995

    For most clients and for many lawyers the role of an expert witness is to support their side’s case. But courts are losing patience with this approach and consider it to be legally and professionally flawed.The problems start with three different roles the expert may be required to play. As a negotiator he is entitled to be partisan; as an advocate (in arbitration and other tribunals where he has rights of audience) his role is one of persuasion with no obligation to put ...

  • DAC alerts clients to legal pitfalls of email

    21-Nov-1995

    Helen Sage reportsDavies Arnold Cooper has issued a warning bulletin to all its clients about the potential legal problems that can arise from using email.Practitioners in the intellectual property department at the firm said that if used appropriately email is a quick and efficient way of communicating. However, they warned if it is used carelessly it could seriously prejudice a legal dispute.Catrin Turner, senior assistant solicitor in ...

  • Damages for whisky shipment

    21-Nov-1995

    A row between whisky manufacturers William Grant and Sons and Lloyd's underwriters is heading for the High Court. Grants is seeking damages after losing almost £2 million on a contract to ship whisky to Iraq. After it shipped whisky worth £1,400,950 to Iraq in 1988, the Revolutionary Command Council of the Republic of Iraq banned payments to UK companies. Grants is suing insurance underwriters, Paul Hunt and others for failing to meet their claims ...

  • Different strokes

    21-Nov-1995

    Expert evidence is a popular topic. The legal press is littered with references to codes of practice, expert's qualifications, academies and registers and sometimes it is difficult to discern who is properly qualified, experienced, independent, competent and reasonably priced.In some fields where there are few formal qualifications, the proliferation of bodies of apparently qualified experts has only served to confuse.The Academy of Experts, is one such ...

  • Election swells ranks of PI bar

    21-Nov-1995

    PERSONAL injury barristers have burst on to the Bar political scene with the election of the president of their newly-formed group on to the council.Personal Injury Bar Association president Daniel Brennan QC is one of the three silks to be voted on to the council in this year's round of elections.The association was only set up this year and already has around 600 members.Earlier this month the group broke ranks with the Bar Council to join ...

  • Euro secondment

    21-Nov-1995

    Cameron Markby Hewitt European competition and energy law specialist Sue Hankey has been seconded to the University of Dundee's Centre for Petroleum/Mineral Law and Policy. Hankey will act as project manager and principal legal consultant on a European Commission technical assistance contract to provide advice on energy laws and policy in the Ukraine. The tender, won by the university in a Europe-wide competition, will involve other members of CMH's oil and gas group.

  • Expert to Eversheds Birmingham

    21-Nov-1995

    Eversheds has appointed 30-year-old Peter Owen as its information technology director for its Birmingham office.Part of Owen's remit will be to link all fee earners and support staff enabling them to tap into the expertise of approximately 1,700 staff spread throughout the country.He will also be part of Eversheds national IT steering committee, so he can play a ...

  • Fast operation nets £7m of counterfeit software

    21-Nov-1995

    The Federation Against Software Theft (Fast) has announced the seizure of over £7 million of counterfeit computer software in a series of weekend raids.The raids were part of a nationwide campaign masterminded by Fast in conjunction with the police.Officers from South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and Devon and Cornwall Constabularies helped to co-ordinate the raids alongside the action group.At one address over 60 gold CD-ROMs were recovered ...

  • Finance

    21-Nov-1995

    Macfarlanes and White & Case advised advertising agency Cordiant in a one for one rights issue to raise around £127 million. Slaughter and May and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton acted for financial advisers ...

  • Firm closes LA arm

    21-Nov-1995

    US corporate finance and securities firm Debevoise & Plimpton is closing its seven-year-old Los Angeles office and offering to return staff to New York. The firm, which has lawyers across the US as well as in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Budapest and Prague, has already begun its "phasing down" programme. Seven of the 12 lawyers have already left - some for New York and others for new firms. ...

  • Flotation

    21-Nov-1995

    McKenna & Co acted for Enterprise Inns on its flotation on the London Stock Exchange by way of a placing and intermediate offer which valued the company at £58.7 million and raised £18.6 million.

  • From IT expert to case winner

    21-Nov-1995

    Instructing an expert to help in litigation is the easy part. Turning them into a case winner is an altogether more complicated affair.In intellectual property litigation, the role of the expert in computer disputes is critical to the outcome.The scenario is familiar. An employee leaves a company to set up alone or join a rival. Within a short period the new company is marketing software similar to that which the employee helped to design for his previous ...

  • Globalisation event

    21-Nov-1995

    Expansion in the Far East, attracting international clients from a UK base and successfully opening overseas offices are among the topics to be discussed at The Lawyer's upcoming conference on the globalisation of legal practice. The one-day event - 'International Expansion for Law Firms: Responding to International Client Demands' will be held at the Cumberland Hotel on 30 January. For further information on the conference, telephone 0171 434 3711.

  • horsey pursuits

    21-Nov-1995

    There are horses for courses and never more so than when looking for a riding expert.In the horse world, nearly everybody thinks they are an expert and the lawyer litigating a horse-related incident must carefully consider what sort of adviser is needed.It is safe to say for most personal injury riding accidents a Fellow of the British Horse Society (FBHS) is the proper person to advise. This is the highest qualification in the British Horse Society's (BHS) ...

  • In brief: City ranks high in world finance

    21-Nov-1995

    An upbeat portrait of the City's financial strengths was painted by Stock Exchange chief executive Michael Lawrence at the third annual Leonard Sainer Lecture. The lecture last week was sponsored by the Leonard Sainer Legal Education Foundation and Titmuss Sainer Dechert and chaired by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir John Balcombe, chair of the foundation. Lawrence said London was able to demonstrate ...

  • In brief: Deadlock over Which? survey

    21-Nov-1995

    The Consumers Association and the Law Society are yet to resolve their differences over September's Which? survey into the quality and cost of legal advice. The association has threatened Chancery Lane with legal action if it does not retract its allegations that the research conducted by Which? was shoddy. "Our current situation is that we stand by the findings and we do not accept the Law Society's criticisms," said the association's senior lawyer Keith Richards.

  • In brief: Ex-military man takes helm at Titmuss

    21-Nov-1995

    Titmuss Sainer Dechert has appointed Sir Peter Duffell KCB CBE MC as its chief executive. Sir Peter, a retired lieutenant general, will work with a non-executive board. His day-to-day role will be supported by the firm's team of functional heads and he will work with the partners in charge of each of the business departments. His military career included the ranks of Inspector General of Doctrine ...

  • In brief: Jonathan Goldberg QC

    21-Nov-1995

    In a story last week about the Bar Council's dismissal of all its professional misconduct charges against Jonathan Goldberg QC it was stated that Mr Justice Laws was a complainant. We wish to point out that this was not the case and the complainant was David Cocks QC. It was conceded by leading counsel for the Bar that the public criticisms made of Goldberg by Justice Laws at the time of the trial in 1993 were misconceived and wrong. Goldberg has donated the £1,000 costs ...

  • In brief: Merger for Sussex firms

    21-Nov-1995

    Sussex law firms Wynne Baxter Godfree and Lewis Holman & Lawrence have announced their merger. The combined Lewes and Uckfield firm, which will practice under the name of Wynne Baxter Godfree incorporating Lewis Holman & Lawrence, will be headed by Wynnes senior partner Martin Costin. Lewis Holman senior partner Maureen Samuels becomes a consultant.

  • In brief: New Sinclair Roche senior partner

    21-Nov-1995

    Harvey Williams, head of litigation at City firm Sinclair Roche & Temperley, will take up the senior partner post next month. The move will mark the end of a 20-year term at the head of the firm for the current senior partner John Morris. Williams, a maritime law expert, joined the firm in 1965. He became a partner in 1971.

  • In brief: Secretary of the Year nominations

    21-Nov-1995

    Lawyers are being asked to nominate their support staff in the 1995 London Legal Secretary of the Year competition. Organised by legal recruiters London Law Appointments, the award attracted more than 120 entries in its first competition last year. The final, which will present the winner with a holiday for two to Los Angeles, will take place at Regent Street's Cafe Royal on 23 January. Applications for the competition are included in this week's The Lawyer and further details ...

  • In brief: Trade mark expert heads to Field Fishers

    21-Nov-1995

    Trade mark and patent agent expert and qualified solicitor Barbara Cookson has joined Field Fisher Waterhouse's intellectual property unit as a partner. Cookson is former head of Titmuss Sainer Dechert's trade mark practice. Intellectual property unit head Mark Abell said: "Barbara has a special ...

  • In the face of public opinion

    21-Nov-1995

    The Appeal Court 3. The Sun readers 45,000.Their lordships on the bench of the Appeal Court may be unconcerned about being out of kilter with the views of Sun readers. But this was the score after the recent unanimous decision of Lords Justice Neill, Millett and Evans to uphold the £4,000 damages award to a burglar for injuries he received after an 82-year-old man fired a shot gun to scare him off.In a phone poll, Sun readers called ...

  • In-house head calls for ethnic support

    21-Nov-1995

    IN-HOUSE lawyers should offer "discreet but clear support" for initiatives to reduce discrimination taken by the firms and chambers which they instruct.That is the advice of the Law Society's commerce and industry group whose chair, Julian Armstrong, has also called for more sponsors for a bursary scheme for ethnic law students.In the latest issue of the Chairman's Newsletter, Armstrong, Esso's general counsel, praises the Law Society's new ...

  • IT helps trace patterns of crime

    21-Nov-1995

    Computerised crime anal-ysis is an important technique to help police tackle crime and criminals, according to a Home Office report.The report details the ways information technology systems can be set up and used to provide vital information on the patterns of crime in a particular area.The report guides police on local crime analysis and the issues they should consider when setting up systems for collecting and analysing data.Home Office Minister ...

  • Keep SCB impartial, say advisers

    21-Nov-1995

    COMPLAINTS handling should be as independent of the Law Society as possible, according to the Solicitors Complaints Bureau's lay-dominated advisory committee.The bureau's policy advisory committee has come out against Law Society president Martin Mears' plans for its functions to be brought back in house.In its response to the Law Society's consultation exercise on reform of the bureau, the committee says complaints handling should remain ...

  • LAB set to have say on Green Paper

    21-Nov-1995

    THE LEGAL AID Board is planning to unveil its eagerly awaited response to Lord Mackay's reform Green Paper next week.The board's response will form a key stage of the reform process as it will contain details of how the board thinks plans for cash limited block contracts can be delivered.Last month, chief executive Steve Orchard told The Lawyer that the board had been ready with its response by the August deadline, but had been specifically asked to ...

  • Legislation in waiting. Asylum Bill

    21-Nov-1995

    The Asylum and Immigration Bill, to be published imminently, will toughen up laws on asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants. The Government has received strong Labour criticism for playing the "race card" before the general election, but ministers defended it saying the surge of asylum applications meant this year's figure was likely to reach 40,000, excluding dependents. The most controversial proposal is the planned creation of a "white list" of safe countries.

  • Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 21/11/95

    21-Nov-1995

    Geoffrey Catterall, 34, admitted 1986, practised as partner with Toller Beattie, Barnstaple, Devon, suspended indefinitely. Allegations substantiated he dishonestly or improperly utilised client money for benefit of other clients and drew client money in breach of accounting rules. Tribunal said: "It is a matter of great concern when a young and inexperienced solicitor, indeed at the outset of this case the respondent was a trainee who had not ...

  • Litigation Personal Injury 21/11/95

    21-Nov-1995

    Craig v Tarmac Construction - QBD 31 October 1995Claimant: Colin Craig, 4Accident: Plaintiff fell fixing scaffolding on building siteInjuries: Loss of consciousness at time of accident; loss of part of scalp skin; injury to right elbow; bruised knees; bruising of sacral area of back; post-traumatic amnesia for some minutes after accident; post concussional syndrome with headaches, giddiness, loss of concentration, irritability, lack of ...

  • Litigation Recent Decisions 21/11/95

    21-Nov-1995

    Treating investment income as a trading receiptNuclear Electric v Bradley (1995).CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Millett J and Schiemann J) 17/10/95.Summary: Investment income of a trading company is not to be treated for tax purposes as a trading receipt when the company is not a banker, a tour operator or an insurance company.Revenue appeal from an order of Sir John Vinelott (Ch.D (Vinelott J) 17/2/95. TLR 28/2/95) reversing a decision ...

  • Litigation Writs 21/11/95

    21-Nov-1995

    Bryan Bennett has launched High Court action against his former employers, Chep UK of Addlestone, Surrey, accusing the company of negligence. An accident happened on 20 February this year after Bennett, 35, put his head into a waste reducing machine to clear a blockage. The writ says he removed a piece of wood blocking the crusher but as he did so another employee turned the machine on again without checking whether it was safe.Writ issued by DR ...

  • Liverpool sets gear up for merger

    21-Nov-1995

    John Malpas reportsTWO of Liverpool's oldest sets are to merge as a third celebrates the opening of a new wing.A busy period for chambers in Liverpool has culminated in the announcement of a merger between 14 Castle Street and 7 Queen Avenue.The merger, which both sets say will lead to an improved service, is indirectly linked to the unveiling of a new wing at nearby Exchange Chambers.Recently, Exchange Chambers has ...

  • Mackay to tackle appeal backlog

    21-Nov-1995

    LORD Mackay is considering an increase in the number of Appeal Court judges in response to a damning report on court delays by Sir Thomas Bingham.The Master of the Rolls' review of the Civil Division's legal year has prompted the Lord Chancellor to bring forward a planned review of judicial strength in the Appeal Court by two years.In his report Sir Thomas Bingham said the backlog of unheard appeals had continued to rise over the last legal year and ...

  • Mackay urges cultural understanding

    21-Nov-1995

    THE LORD Chancellor says he wants to see an end to ignorance about different cultures in the legal system.Speaking at this year's Kapila Lecture held at the Inns of Court School of Law, Lord Mackay said: "A person can unwittingly give an indication of unfairness if some aspect, say of a defendant's culture, is not known."Although he repeatedly expressed a wish to see more ethnic minority practitioners in the judiciary he acknowledged that significant ...

  • Management a 'bore' in North-west

    21-Nov-1995

    SOLICITORS in the North-west of England enjoy fee earning work but are not too excited about practice management.They work hard, on average 40 and 50 hours a week, and the majority earn between £25,000 and £50,000.The findings form part of a major survey of lawyers' working lives by chartered accountants Gruber Levinson Franks. The findings show the region's solicitors are "generally happier" this year than in the last survey in 1993.

  • McDonalds' record breaker

    21-Nov-1995

    The long running High Court libel action by McDonalds against environmental campaigners, is already in the record books as the longest libel case in history. But in December it is set to notch up 199 days which will turn it into the longest civil case of any kind.

  • More questions than answers

    21-Nov-1995

    "Most of the problems with expert evidence arise because the expert is initially recruited as part of the team which investigates and advances a party's contentions and then has to change roles and seek to provide the independent expert evidence which the court is entitled to expect."So wrote Lord Woolf in his interim report, highlighting the need for impartial expert evidence. He seeks to make a distinction between the expert assisting a litigant to advance his case ...

  • Nick Bradley finds a test case where syntax is all important.

    21-Nov-1995

    Nicholas Bradley is a partner in the insurance and reinsurance unit at Davies Arnold Cooper.On 25 October, the Court of Appeal upheld by a majority of two to one a High Court ruling in the key insurance case of Charter Reinsurance Company v Patrick Feltrim Fagan in a standard form excess of loss reinsurance contract wording. Do the words "sum actually paid" used in a clause which sets out what the reassured could recover from his reinsurer, mean the reassured has ...

  • North Yorks reshuffle cuts legal posts

    21-Nov-1995

    FIVE legal services posts are to be axed as a result of the reorganisation of a county council's management structure.The number of legal staff at North Yorkshire County Council will be cut from 24 to 19 after next April. But acting county secretary David Parrish said there were unlikely to be redundancies.The cuts include making three temporary contract posts - a solicitor, a conveyancer and a junior - redundant, and transferring two others to York Council. ...

  • Norton Rose shakes up Moscow office

    21-Nov-1995

    NORTON Rose this week carries out a complete overhaul of its Moscow practice, hiring Boodle Hatfield partner Simon Renton and building a London-based Russia group.Renton's appointment as Moscow managing partner marks the third move for the corporate and commercial lawyer since his 1993 departure from McKenna & Co.Prior to leaving McKennas he was manager of its Prague office. He then became an in-house consultant with British Gas, working on CIS projects, ...

  • OFT 'best placed to resolve health price actions'

    21-Nov-1995

    A SENIOR healthcare lawyer at McKenna & Co has called for medical product pricing decisions to be kept out of court after his firm's successful action on vitamin prices.Healthcare partner Gary Hickinbottom said the Office of Fair Trading was best placed to resolve the public interest issues involved.His comments come after McKennas won injunctions on behalf of Roche Products and Seven Seas, halting last month's attempt by supermarket chain Asda to cut ...

  • On the trail of the fraudsters

    21-Nov-1995

    Whether as a witness of fact or as an expert witness, an accountant can be a valuable member of the litigation team. However, concern has been voiced recently that the use of expert witnesses has led to judicial delay and expense.It has also been suggested that some experts have failed to maintain their independence from the party instructing them. It was in response to these assertions that Lord Woolf published his recommendations.Forensic accountants have an ...

  • People with know-how

    21-Nov-1995

    Where can you find an accountant, a trichologist and a career profiler? With expert witnesses hitting the headlines in the OJ Simpson and Rosemary West cases, this year's Expert Witness event at the Barbican Centre's Red Hall on 29-30 November is happening at just the right time.The event has attracted almost 80 exhibitors to the Barbican. The wide range of expertise is evidence of how the expert witness sector has grown, with experts ranging from accountants to ...

  • People with know-how

    21-Nov-1995

    The Expert Witness event Timetable29-30 November 1995Red Hall Barbican CentreDay One10.30 - The expert's role and responsibilities, Contingency fees and Meetings of experts11.30 -The Judicial Committee's model form of expert report: what it is and how to use it12.30 - Selecting your expert and maximising his value in today's climate1.30 - Working abroad: US immigration, ...

  • President on the record

    21-Nov-1995

    Your 14 November issue contains two wholly false statements about me:1. "He is believed to regularly submit unsolicited articles to The Times"In recent months The Times has received four articles from me, each after prior discussion with its legal correspondent, Frances Gibb. One article (unpublished) was sent in on the basis that because of its particular theme it might or might not be acceptable. The other three articles were duly printed.

  • Profession slams disclosure rethink

    21-Nov-1995

    BOTH arms of the legal profession have hit out at the inclusion of new disclosure rules in the Queen's Speech claiming they will "undoubtedly unbalance the criminal justice system".The rules, one of the main points of the new Criminal Procedure and Investigations Bill, will give police and prosecutors more control over evidence which is disclosed to the defence team.As the Bill stands, defence lawyers will also be forced to disclose more of their case at ...

  • Programme accuses court of self-interest

    21-Nov-1995

    THE COURT of Appeal has been accused of putting the interests of the legal profession above the interests of justice.The charge has been levelled by the television programme Trial and Error following the rejection of an appeal by 64-year-old Sheila Bowler, who was convicted of murdering her elderly aunt.A petition will now be lodged with Home Secretary Michael Howard for the appeal to be re-heard.The programme alleges the court refused to hear crucial ...

  • Record attendance

    21-Nov-1995

    The Software for Solicitors two-day event held in Manchester at the beginning of November pushed its attendance figures up by 85 per cent from 1993. The event which attracted 20 exhibitors and 585 visitors was a regional spin-off from the long-running Solicitors and Legal Office Exhibition held at the Barbican in June.

  • Report finds 'Boys club' in fine form

    21-Nov-1995

    THE OLD boy network continues to thrive among the legal profession according to the third in a series of reports carried out by the Policy Studies Institute.The report, to be released this week, will echo past studies by saying firms show a strong preference for Oxbridge graduates and applicants for training contracts have a better chance of receiving an offer if they have links to the profession through family or past work experience.Student debt remains a pressing ...

  • Row over import controls moves to ECJ

    21-Nov-1995

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is set to face a challenge in the European Court of Justice to its approach over control provisions designed to regulate the import of pesticides into the UK.Mr Justice Popplewell has referred the case following a challenge mounted by the British Agrochemicals Association which represents 37 members of the agrochemical industry.They will argue that arrangements made by the MAFF for importation of pesticides ...

  • Scots appointments break legal ground

    21-Nov-1995

    A RESHUFFLE among Scotland's top legal figures is believed to have set a couple of professional records.The appointments include what is believed to be the first former solicitor to become Lord Advocate, the Government's ultimate source of legal advice for Scotland.Newly-appointed Lord Advocate Donald Mackay qualified as a solicitor in 1971 and practised for five years, latterly as a partner at Allan McDougall & Co SSC, before joining the Scottish Bar.

  • Self-regulation under attack

    21-Nov-1995

    House of Commons Select Committees have proved a useful constitutional innovation. They reveal what the Government, the Civil Service and the private sector think about a host of topical matters.Nevertheless, select committees have an in-built majority in favour of the governing party.What is most surprising about the Treasury Select Committee's sixth report into financial services regulation is the extent to which the committee appears to endorse strands ...

  • Spiralling intake in the US

    21-Nov-1995

    THE SPIRALLING intake of people into the US legal profession has generated economic incentives which have "demeaned" the practice of law and caused the profession to lose sight of its objectives, a former American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA) chair has said.Carl Liggio, now a partner in Chicago firm Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman, told delegates at last week's conference of the ACCA European chapter that his view of the profession was "not particularly ...

  • Taming of the hired guns

    21-Nov-1995

    In the context of Lord Woolf's other recommendations for the civil justice system published in Access to Justice, the proposals for the use of experts look modest. But they could have a big impact on how experts do forensic work.The interim report identified the problems of cost, delay and complexity. These, especially cost, are made worse by the unpredictability of the system.In Lord Woolf's view, what underlies the continuation of these problems, ...

  • THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice's role as a watchdog

    21-Nov-1995

    John Malpas reportsTHE EUROPEAN Court of Justice’s role as a watchdog over European Commission decisions will come under discussion at a lecture organised by a Lincoln’s Inn set.Judge Christopher Bellamy QC, the British Judge at the Court of First Instance, has agreed to deliver the fifth of a series of lectures being run by Hardwicke Building chambers.The title of the judge’s lecture later this month is ‘The Court of Justice and the Court of First ...

  • The Lawyer Inquiry: Andrea McWatt

    21-Nov-1995

    Andrea McWatt is a partner specialising in employment law at Manchester-based Davies Wallis Foyster. Born in South America in 1949, she now lives in Manchester. What was your first job?Training officer, Road Transport Industry Training Board.What was your first ever salary as a lawyer?£4,500.What would you have done if you hadn't become a lawyer?These ...

  • Wanted: IT trainer

    21-Nov-1995

    Helen Sage reportsBaker & McKenzie is looking for a new IT trainer to assist the firm's migration from DOS to Windows. The position will involve the implementation of a training scheme on the new word processing software. The firm is also developing a new document management system.

  • What a picture

    21-Nov-1995

    The Maxwell trial at Chichester Rents Courts provides an example of how in-court technology can be used today. After some teething problems, the much-hyped technology, which uses computers, monitors and CD-ROMs, has helped reduce the amount of paperwork used by both sides and will save a lot of the time and expense associated with lengthy fraud trials.Computer graphics are becoming more common in UK courtrooms, especially for large fraud trials. The graphics can aid the ...

  • Write to reply

    21-Nov-1995

    Evidence for court is in two parts: written and oral. Most cases are dealt with on the strength of written evidence and this can avoid the need for an individual to give evidence from the witness box. Written evidence is in the control of the writer and can give a lot of confidence if he is called to court to give oral evidence later. Lawyers and experts need to apply some basic principles when writing and reading reports.Most important is that the report must be written ...

  • You say attorney...

    21-Nov-1995

    In regard to Mr Ross's letter on use of the term "attorney" I should point out that in the US the term "attorney" is only applied to qualified members of the Bar and is not used for paralegals.However, in the UK the term is clearly allowed for use by those who are qualified to advise on specific areas of the law in relation to intellectual property.Sections 276/7/8 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or Section 86 ...